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“overpriced and overrated” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Bacara Resort & Spa

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Bacara Resort & Spa
5.0 of 5 Resort   |   8301 Hollister Ave, Goleta, CA 93117   |  
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Ranked #2 of 10 Hotels in Goleta
Los Angeles, California
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
“overpriced and overrated”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 3, 2013

For a romantic weekend away my girlfriend and I decided to opt for bacara after some friends recommended it, we booked a suite overlooking the ocean to maximise our romantic wants. The room itself was very clean and whilst small was well arranged and comfortable, the bed was good the bathroom to a high standard.
The issues i have were with the prices, breakfast in bed, nothing special, a continental and a full english ran us in at 200 dollars, a 80 minute massage ran in at around 350 dollars and the massages in particular, i had two during my stay were of a poor quality.
there was a wedding each day we were there i think or at least it certainly felt like it with the cheesy disco music blaring around the resort, we tried each of their restaurants, one was massively overpriced with terrible service, the other however looked over the ocean at the top of the building and was a very enjoyable dinner.
The beaches are open and public, the location is lovely and the hotel itself is very nice but the prices far outweighed the experience, paying 3500 dollars or more for a three night stay in a basic suite is unacceptable at a hotel that isn't providing the right kind of services. for the same price you could stay at the post ranch inn and see how to do it right.
i'd stay here again if the prices weren't so obscene or the service came up to match the price but until either one happens i'd give it a miss!

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kathleen C, General Manager at Bacara Resort & Spa, responded to this review, May 10, 2013
Thank you for your recent review. I was so pleased to read that you found our location lovely and the hotel to be very nice. I am sorry to read that you felt that some of our services and offerings were not priced to your liking. I am happy to report that the vast majority of our guests truly love spending time here. In fact, many of them return again and again. We hope that you will give us another try and reconsider Bacara for another romantic getaway in the future.

Kindly,

Kathleen Cochran
General Manager
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1,485 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (401)
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English first
Los Altos Hills, California
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 1, 2013

Bacara is a great place for a business meeting, however it is far removed from other social opportunities. The property is beautiful and my room was lovely. It was described as a Villa and had none of the sound issues mentioned by other reviewers. The room was spacious and very well equipped.
Meals at Miro and the spa cafe were very enjoyable. With a group of about 15, the meal service at Miro was very smooth and the food was delicious.
I understood the tar on the beach to be occasional. Other reviewers mentioned going barefoot on the beach. Feet are easier to clean than shoes, especially sport shoes with gridded soles. I wish I had known. My husband spent 1 1/2 hours with a putty knife and paint thinner cleaning our shoes once we arrived home. It kind of took the fun out of the memories of our weekend.
The Bacara spa is beautiful with a lovely private spa pool. Facilities are very nice and include large lounge areas with a fireplace. My concern is that the staff at the desk appeared to be uninformed about the services offered, both for skin and nails. I made my facial appointment in person because I wanted to express that I have sensitive skin and that that should be taken into account. Apparently no note was made. The staff stressed that the therapists were professional and would evaluate my skin. I also told the therapist that my skin was very sensitive. Now, on day 4, my face is raw in some places and very dry. The products used on me were for normal to oily skin. I am, and always have been, extremely dry. My husband says I aged 5 years over the weekend! Of course, this is repairable, but so disappointing. I am no longer inclined to have beauty services away from home. Given the isolation of the resort, the spa should be top-notch.

Stayed April 2013, traveled on business
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kathleen C, General Manager at Bacara Resort & Spa, responded to this review, May 2, 2013
Thank you so much for writing such a detailed account of your recent stay at Bacara. I was so happy to read that found the resort beautiful and enjoyed your room and dining at Miró and Spa Café. While I was pleased to read you found our Spa facilities to be beautiful, I was disappointed that you did not have the same sentiment for your treatment. We hope that you will give us another chance and return to Bacara in the future.

Kindly,
Kathleen Cochran
General Manager
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Detroit
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 1, 2013

Loved this place! Got the upgrade to a beautiful room in building 2. Nicely appointed room and baths. Loved the patio overlooking the ocean. Thomas drove us and our luggage to our room, but gave us a nice little tour of the place. Went to the bar before heading out to our massages and had a lovely bartender named David, who allowed us to sample a few wines before making our choice and we ended up going with the one he selected anyway! Our meal was delightful! The spa was very nice and I enjoyed the steam, sauna and jacuzzi! My masseuse did a great job and it was time to enjoy our lovely room. Slept with the door open all night and it was quiet as a mouse. Breakfast was delicious with excellent service. It was too bad that it was foggy/misty out because the view would have been spectacular. I would highly recommend this place again! Special kudos to staff members Thomas and David who went out of their way to make us feel special. Thank you Bacara!

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kathleen C, General Manager at Bacara Resort & Spa, responded to this review, May 2, 2013
Thank you so much for your lovely review. I will be sure to share your wonderful feedback about Thomas and David with their managers as well as them. We can’t wait to welcome you back to Bacara soon!

Kindly,
Kathleen Cochran
General Manager
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San Juan Capistrano, California
Top Contributor
264 reviews 264 reviews
74 hotel reviews
Reviews in 85 cities Reviews in 85 cities
88 helpful votes 88 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 1, 2013

This resort is right on a beautiful stretch of wild California coast with nothing else around it. The hotel itself is low-rise and divided into a number of buildings that are scattered around the bluff overlooking the Pacific. Our room was well-designed, well-appointed, light and spacious (ask for a corner room on an upper floor). It had a private covered porch with a nice view. While there are hundreds of guests there, you never see but a few except at the pool, because they are spread out over a large area. Fresh apples in the lobby, free WiFi in the rooms, excellent service all around make it a pleasure to be there.

The food, however, is surprisingly sub-par. We ate at the Miró, their high-end restaurant, and with the exception of a seafood appetizer, it was not very good at all. The box lunches were bad, the banquet food was poor, although the breakfasts were good (I just had oatmeal with fruit). And, they're not giving it away.

Room Tip: Get a corner room on an upper floor.
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kathleen C, General Manager at Bacara Resort & Spa, responded to this review, May 2, 2013
Thank you for taking the time to write a review about your recent stay at Bacara. I was so pleased to read that you enjoyed our breathtaking location, luxurious guestrooms and excellent service. I was so disappointed to your comments about or food. Guest dining is an area at which Bacara has always excelled. Both our menus and our service have won us rave reviews locally and even nationally. I truly believe your experience was the rare exception, and I hope you will give us another try.

Kindly,

Kathleen Cochran
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 26, 2013 via mobile

We had a great time. The spa was fantastic, love being on the ocean and just close enough to Santa Barbara. The restaurants we very good and the staff was very accommodating. The only concern was watch getting tar on your feet when walking on the beach however they provide tar remover in the rooms.

  • Stayed April 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kathleen C, General Manager at Bacara Resort & Spa, responded to this review, April 29, 2013
Thank you so much for taking the time to write a review about Bacara. I was so pleased to read that you enjoyed the Spa, Restaurants and most importantly the service from our staff. We hope to welcome you back to Bacara soon.

Kindly,
Kathleen Cochran
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Portland, Oregon
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 25, 2013

Best resort for the money in Santa Barbara. Higlights are great pool overlooking the ocean with plenty of lounge areas. Private cabanas equipped with a TV and minibar/fridge are available for privacy or families. Excellent service throughout from wait staff at pool to multiple restaurants. Rooms area spacious but are highly varied based on where you are on the property. Arrive early to scope out a good room. Beach and tennis courts are superb. There's even a beach house that was not open (too early in season) but would be terrific in Summer. Great spa with the best fitness room you've ever seen in a resort/hotel. More machines than ever and a true weight room! Have fun!

Room Tip: Arrive early to scope out a good room.
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kathleen C, General Manager at Bacara Resort & Spa, responded to this review, April 29, 2013
I was so pleased you thoroughly enjoyed your experience at our Pool & Cabana area. We hope to welcome you back soon so that you can experience all the amenities that we offer through our Beach House, which is open during the Summer.

Kindly,
Kathleen Cochran
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
phoenix
Senior Contributor
47 reviews 47 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 27 cities Reviews in 27 cities
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 18, 2013

I had a good time at Bacara. 3 nights stay. The good... Beautiful grounds, excellent desk and valet staff, ocean view, clean rooms. The just ok... Lots of big events in public spaces. i was told i would have to walk WAAY around the property to get to my room which was a quick step through the patio because of an event by someone not affiliated with the hotel. Better direction or accommodation would be best. No one from the hotel was directing guests or offering assistance. Construction was well managed and not a big deal (progress). wait staff was decent. Prices were steep for F&B and rooms. It's far from Sb and cabs take 15-30 minutes to arrive. A cab ride is $40-50. For 5 star resort a better way to transport guests would be a nice touch. Not many services at all near by. The bad... Our room was on the road side and our bedroom window was apparently made of tissue. i inspected it thoroughly to be closed but it sounded completely open as road noise, birds, peoples voices sounded as if they were right in the room (too noisy to sleep well). All in all it was a good/average stay hence the 3 stars. I have had a more lux stay at simpler properties. it is also a big property and the hands on service gets a little watered down. i will say, the valet staff were the most outstanding and professional. All other staff were good and competent. Would not be my first choice as a stand alone guest. looks more suited for large groups/conventions.

Room Tip: Not building 15 on the road side. Too noisy.
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kathleen C, General Manager at Bacara Resort & Spa, responded to this review, April 29, 2013
I was so pleased to read that you enjoyed our lush landscaping, excellent service and ocean views. You are correct in your observation that ours is a secluded resort. For many of our guests, this is what makes Bacara so appealing. I was also very disappointed to see that you experienced excessive noise in your guestroom. Although we rarely get this complaint, I know how undermining it can be to the overall guest experience. Thank you for taking the time to write such a detailed review about your recent stay and we hope to welcome you back soon.

Kindly,
Kathleen Cochran
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Bacara Resort & Spa

Address: 8301 Hollister Ave, Goleta, CA 93117
Phone Number:
Location: United States > California > Goleta
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#2 Family Hotel in Goleta
#2 Romantic Hotel in Goleta
#3 Business Hotel in Goleta
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:5 star — Bacara Resort & Spa 5*
Number of rooms: 360
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Bacara Resort & Spa offers a luxurious hotel and family experience right outside Santa Barbara, California. Experience laid-back luxury and contemporary comfort at Bacara. Nestled on 78 magnificent beachfront acres, Bacara provides a vacation experience like no other. Whether you’re here for business or pleasure, we’ll pamper you with dazzling facilities, suites and the incomparable Santa Barbara sun and surf. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Santa Barbara Bacara Resort
Bacara Spa Resort Santa Barbara
Bacara Resort Santa Barbara Ca
Bacara Santa Barbara
Bacara Hotel Santa Barbara

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